Monday, November 30, 2009

Thoughts While Shaving: Huckabee Disappoints in Debate with Dean…Here’s a Tip—“White Collar” is a Winner on USA Network.


Huckabee Disappoints.

Mike Huckabee sorely disappointed me in yesterday’s televised pro-and-con on Fox News Sunday. Not that he didn’t outshine his opponent, Howard Dean—but then that’s easy. Huckabee fumbled his views on health care by not laying a glove on Dean’s espousal of the public option but instead said that the most important thing is to encourage Americans to eat less and exercise more…sort of a takeoff on his successful book of 2005, “Quit Digging Your Grave with Your Knife and Fork”—a guide to weight loss. Maybe he was preoccupied by the emerging story that Washington state police were focusing on one Maurice Clemmons…a guy Huckabee pardoned as Arkansas governor… as a key suspect in the killing of four policemen over the weekend.

Earlier I wrote that while I’m not endorsing him, still Huckabee struck me as having many of the qualities a presidential candidate should have to face Barack Obama—and I still feel that way…but I was more than a little dismayed at his vapid answer on Fox to the all-important question on federalized health care. He referred to the right concept very lightly—the plan pioneered by Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan. The plan involves taking the money the country is spending right now…2-1/2-times per person what any other country spends on health care and don’t pass it through the bureaucracies but give it to individuals to empower them in the form of vouchers along with good information to enable them to buy health insurance. Why Huckabee didn’t stress that plan is beyond me. Maybe it was just a dumb moment but while he looked better than Howard Dean (well anyone could) he didn’t seem on top of his game.

Incidentally, the Maurice Clemmons thing could be Huckabee’s Willy Horton moment…and could knock him from his front-runner presidential perch in Iowa.

“White Collar” is Great TV Entertainment.

I rarely watch entertainment TV but I did the other night and hugely enjoyed “White Collar” on USA cable network. The series has just finished its 2009 run but re-runs are being shown on the network. It’s clean, witty and clever…reminiscent of “To Catch a Thief,” the Alfred Hitchcock film of 1955 starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. In that film you remember that Grant is a retired cat burglar on the French Riviera…one who dexterously invades the houses of the rich and purloins their jewels and expensive watches. He’s hired by the French underground in World War II to practice his “art” for the good guys.

“White Collar” is similar. An expert in white collar crime is nabbed by the FBI and serves some time in jail. He breaks out…attempts to find his girl-friend who has disappeared… and is recaptured by the same FBI agent who nabbed him the first time. The crook who is a charming con convinces the FBI that he can better serve justice by helping the agency find white collar criminals. The agency buys the idea. fits him with an ankle bracelet and puts him to work off his sentence by helping them in their white collar crime section—all the while he is using his spare time to find his disappeared girl friend. In the final segment he discovers that she was last seen in the company of the FBI which causes him to ponder the people he’s working for. Fascinating. Take a tip from me and see some of the earlier episodes and discover the closest thing to an early Cary Grant extant: actor Matt Bomer playing the con Neal Caffrey.

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